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  • The Pachinko company, god yes what a pain. If I remember it right it is named 'Sammy' and they were mostly active in the arcades.

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  • The buyout really was inevitable. Sega blew so much money on the Saturn to the point it did irreparable damage to the company. One of the biggest reasons the Dreamcast struggled with third party support was because people had valid concerns about developing for a console owned by a company about to go bankrupt. After DC died they could only coast along for so long by porting their DC games to PS2/GC/Xbox. Then they got bought out because the company was unsustainable at that point. They may get by fine now, but they'll never be a series contender again. It's rumoured that when their president died, he left the company a lot of money on the condition that they never make another console. So if that's true, then they're forbidden from making another console for legal reasons.

    While in a way it was sad to see them go, they had a history of treating their fans poorly. They invented full on region locking by putting a lockout chip in the Genesis; most consoles back then could play imports by modifying the cartridge slot or using an adapter. Ironically, the Saturn and Dreamcast are the only consoles from that time that can be liberated to play imports with no physical modifications. If Sega was still around, I could picture them being an arrogant company like Nintendo and still region locking in 2013.

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  • @Ed: I don't know if you read manga, but this is a cool short story by Junji Ito about deep sea life and humanity's fear of the ocean. Maybe it will give you some ideas.

    http://mangafox.me/manga/itou_junji_kyoufu_manga_collection/v07/c002/2.html

    I look forward to seeing how you will evoke that sense of fear from Ecco in LB.

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  • Hey ED...i sent you a rather silly message on Facebook(which im pretty sure you dont even use) about my thoughts on how to make the next game. It seems after 5 hours of CATCHING UP ON EVERYTHING i have a pretty good idea of what is going on now...

    QUESTIONS!!! oh btw if these are repeats i am sorry plz just say already answered

    #1 Will this game world be setup into sections that you unlock as you progress?

    #2 Will there be things like ruins, sunken ships, huge sea shell structures, and other cool things like that?!

    #3 Will there be bosses like how you had them in the ECCO series?

    #4 Will this be more like an RPG where you level up and have a skill tree? Or is this gonna be more like RAISE YOUR CREATURES...you know kinda like pokemon or something like that?

    #5 Will there be any part of this game where it will be RANDOMLY GENERATING?! Like MINECRAFT HUGE OCEANS?!

    i have a few questions for you not related to the new game...

    #1 What book did you say inspired some of your story behind ECCO?

    #2 What other underwater/sci fi stories would you recommend?


    THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!!

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  • #1 What book did you say inspired some of your story behind ECCO?

    I believe one of them is "The Sounding", about a sentient sperm whale (it's in one of Ed's interviews).

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  • I'm checking in here daily, but nothing much seems to be happening. I hope that's because Ed and crew are working on stuff. :)

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  • I wouldn't mind an off-topic thread/board where we can talk about other games and general chitchat. I think it would help to build the community.

    Ed, I know you're busy, but you need to communicate with your fans here, not just on Twitter. I don't use social media, but if I didn't read your Twitter I wouldn't even know about stuff like your plans to rename LB, so you should at least keep us informed here as well. I can't even read comments from you and others on BB's Facebook page because I don't use that site. I know I'm in the minority in this day and age as someone who isn't a fan of social media, but you shouldn't forget to also make use of more traditional communication methods like this board for fossils like me :)

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  • I don't use social media either, since it sells your privacy to advertisement companies to make more money. No FB or Twitter for me...
    From a business standpoint, Ed will want to reach the masses; not just a fossil or two like you and me, Ice. But then again, why is this board here if he doesn't use it?

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  • I don't use social media because I think its a stupid fad and has an unintelligent atmosphere. Besides there being zero privacy, I do not know why anyone would want the whole world to know about their bowel movements or see pictures of themselves being drunk idiots.

    What Ed does in his private time is his business, but it does look bad when he's interacting with his fans nearly everyday on Twitter but only pops up here once every few weeks.

    That aside, I don't want to sound like an ass, but I do have to wonder just how out of touch Playchemy is with the average consumer given how poorly the original Kickstarter was handled. We're not the same audience as the people for their mobile games so we do have certain expectations. A big part of marketing games in the modern age is the general trickling of information, otherwise you lose momentum, as has happened here. I understand that games take time and money to make, but even if you release temporary stuff, we will understand that nothing is final and the speculation and discussion will carry over until the next updates is ready. It is an almost constant cycle that keeps awareness and hype towards an upcoming game up. Even back in the 90s companies would release beta and early screenshots in magazines for people to see how the game was shaping up. Even with modern games people are still fascinated by early development stuff so its great publicity. It is also a good way to get feedback before everything has been cemented and the money spent. All developers have their own style and if Ed simply wants to do one big mega update down the line, he should be forthcoming with that so people know what to expect and don't think of it as vapourware (an estimated month for an update wouldn't hurt either).

    This is the most recent mentioning of BB in the press.

    http://www.theyorker.co.uk/lifestyle/science-and-technology/14274-they-came-from-under-sea

    It doesn't even mention the existence of LB and all it does is link to the dead FB page. This is the first time I've seen the game mentioned in the media since the Kickstarter failed. Awareness for LB is sorely lacking outside of this board. Even in the archive for /v/ there have been no threads since the KS ended and nobody is even interested in talking about it. In the archive itself I found maybe three small threads about the game from the time the KS was active, and they were all small with only a handful of replies. 4chan is a good indication of the public's mood towards a game because you get honest opinions free of censorship and the full spectrum of gamers there, and there have been no serious threads about it because people simply aren't interested in LB/BB. In contrast, there have been over 10 threads every day about Shantae and Mighty No. 9 that often go on for hundreds of posts.

    That being said, there will have to be some serious damage control when the next updates come in, because people still think of BB as "that shitty phone/ipod MMO game". If you want to appeal to hobbyists you must keep away from mobile/ios/MMO stuff because it is an automatic death sentence for a game and relegates it to the casual market. In terms of sales on paper today, casuals may be a bigger market than core gamers, but Ed must make a choice between quantity or quality. I know that a lot of companies fear marketing to retro gamers because they think we are impossible to please because we have high standards and know our history (calling companies out on their "innovation" and 10/10 reviews bull crap), but it is a very large untapped market, and stuff like Inafune's game show there are large numbers of us out there. Until the crash comes, the retro game market is only going to get bigger as more and more people are alienated from the modern one.

    The way things stand now, LB could be cancelled tomorrow and people would just shrug it off and move on like with Virtual Ocean. I know I'm sticking my neck out by saying all this but it needs to be said. In short, Ed needs to communicate with his fans and make his intentions known, we are not mind readers. I am not personally offended that most of my posts are not responded to, I am just irked by how this game and the board are being handled, it is not helping the games already very niche status and chances of getting funded successfully the next time around. One of the reasons BB's KS fell apart was because Ed stopped communicating and the situation on these boards hasn't been much better. He needs to show he can change that. I can't say I blame Ed for the lack of communication given the general disinterest in LB/BB, but if you want to hold on to your fans you have to communicate. Even some first time "indie" devs making a game out of their mom's basement are better at communication than this, and I hate indie games.

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  • Thanks for your advice and warnings, and all the thought and time you put into your posts.  I promise to consider all.  

    I hope LB will start to get a higher priority soon.   Right now we are heads down trying to finish a project and keep the wheels on.



     

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  • You're welcome. I apologize if the post was a bit rude. Sorry if I got worked up over nothing. Best of luck with your projects.

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  • I agree with your post, Ice. I've been a die-hard Ecco fan since the start, so I don't want to see the franchise killed off. If you want to make it thrive again, you have to communicate and create hype for it by throwing in some tasty teasers. That's how gaming business works.

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  • You are right, Sith. You can not release a game with no marketing and expect it to sell well (or in this case launch a new KS out of nowhere).

    These are various reactions I've gathered from the /v/ and /vr/ archives.

    http://oi43.tinypic.com/madt8m.jpg

    Summary:

    • What everybody really wants is Ecco 3. But we know it will never happen while Sega still owns the IP. So this is better than nothing.
    • Everyone hates the online and mobile stuff.
    • Nobody knows what is happening with LB and can not get excited or really discuss anything when all we have to go on is the KS prototype and some early concept art.

    Ed, thanks for clarifying your situation to us. I'm not going to rush you, but as you can see you have to throw us a bone of some sort soon. Anything would get the hype train rolling again. Outside of this board people are seeing the inaction as a sign that you have given up.

    Some ideas:

    -Wallpapers

    -Banners

    -A new interview

    -Some music sample tracks to give an idea of the kind of atmosphere the game will have

    -Creature or environment renders. Even if they're just placeholder graphics it will give people some sort of idea of how the game might be.

    -Some new ideas from you about gameplay mechanics you are thinking of or experimenting with

    -A video from you and the team, even if it is short, as an update on the game.

    -A teaser of some sort. It could be a 20 second video or even a cryptic tweet. Anything to get people thinking.

    All we have to share with others at the moment is images from the prototype and the KS concept art, both of which look like a late 90s screensaver. Because of that people don't really have an idea of what the game is going to be like so there's not a whole lot to talk about.

    I know you have a lot on your plate now, so take your time. But it would be nice if you could at least share something new by Christmas. Don't launch a new KS until you are 100% ready. I don't think you have to worry about a new KS for quite some time because of all the money the Shantae and Mighty no. 9 KS campaigns got, whenever there are high profile KS campaigns like that there will be less disposable income for potential backers to throw around.

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  • I hadn't heard about that Shantea Kickstarter, but after watching the Kickstarter video, they basically did nothing but show the game, aside from a few seconds of people working on it. There's nobody talking about what they want to make, they just showed the game. And they seem to be well on their way of reaching the $400.000 goal.

    Regarding TLB, time isn't an issue. It's not like it matters if they're not giving updates since there's only three people posting here anyway.

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  • That's why creating hype is needed, to get more people interested...

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  • I agree with Sith. But pressuring Ed isn't going to get any results so all we can do is wait. I know that Ed is very busy but things have to change soon. As I mentioned when the board first opened, I would have used the downtime between Kickstarters to promote and hype up the game to get newcomers, non-Ecco fans on board, as well as veterans such as us. With 13 years having passed since the last Ecco game (and 19 since Tides of Time), there clearly isn't enough brand power left in the Ecco name to fuel a Kickstarter with the money from Ecco fans alone, and Big Blue showed that. This game needs marketing before the next KS if we want it to succeed, and all the interviews Ed did before BB weren't enough because gamers want to see tangible, early development stuff about the game if they are going to throw money at you. They want to see proof that actual work has been put into the game so they can get an idea of how it is going to turn out. Ecco isn't popular enough to fuel the hype engine on speculation and rumours alone, unlike vapourware such as Final Fantasy XV and Half Life 3 which have legions of fans behind them that will buy them for the name alone without knowing anything about the game itself. Only the most enthusiastic fans funded BB and it didn't even reach 10% of its target. I am not saying that LB needs to expand its audience, I'm saying it needs marketing, urgently. Ed doesn't even need to spend any money, just give us something so that we can share it and spread the word.

    As I mentioned before, if everyone who ever bought an Ecco game had contributed $1 to the KS, it would have been funded. However the passage of time and long gap between games has eroded the Ecco fanbase. If we had modern internet in 1996 and Ed was asking for money to make not-Ecco for the Saturn, it would have been funded. No matter how passionate people may be on their fansites and message boards, if there is no new official content for long periods of time, people are going to give up hope and go their separate ways. Just look at Megaman, that franchise has millions of fans spread across 6+ different series, but there is no point in even visiting MM sites anymore because the IP has been dead for the last three years. All MM fans can do now is reminisce about the past and complain about how the IP is dead. Ecco suffered the same fate many years ago. I apologize if this offends anyone, but the Ecco fanbase is in shambles. Even outside of this board, like with Megaman, it is hard to get a conversation going beyond "They were nice games. I liked ____ about them. I hate Sega/Capcom and here's why.". That is the inevitable fate of any IP that has been dormant for a long time. If Ed wants to bring the Ecco fans back under his wing, as Inafune has managed to do with the Megaman fans, then Little Blue is going to need updates and marketing to reach those scattered and bitter fans (and yes, we have every reason to be bitter at the neglect of our favourite IPs). One of the reasons Inafune's KS has been so successful is because the wounds and hatred of the Megaman fanbase is still fresh. Ecco on the other hand has long been forgotten by most people, and despite being popular in its time, was always niche and never had that mainstream appeal that Megaman did.

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  • First of all, you're assuming Ed is going to hold another Kickstarter. That's not certain, Ed already mentioned possible getting his funding elsewhere. Furthermore, why do we need marketing when there's no game to begin with? Yes, the Ecco fanbase is in shambles. That also means another extra year or so waiting isn't going to matter much. At this point I just don't think there's a lot left to say. It's up to Ed and his team to either find a publisher, or go with Kickstarter and show that they're capable of creating TLB/TBB. The three people posting here aren't going to make the difference.

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  • Of course I am well aware that Ed said he was in negotiations with someone who might fund LB. But that doesn't mean BB, a game on a much larger scale, would be funded too. Naturally we are not privy to such information so I can only assume that they are getting ready for another KS. And realistically, if I were an investor I wouldn't fund LB because of its niche audience.

    ALL video games need marketing and that is a universal rule. It is how business works, LB can not support itself piggybacking on Ecco's name alone. It doesn't matter if you are an "indie" dev or a mega corporation, games with no marketing do not sell well. Lets say LB/BB gets funded and released, do you not care if it's a commercial bomb and Ed can't make any more games? You do realize that the reason we are in this boat right now is because Sega was displeased with Tides of Time's sales, with the game only selling half of what the original Ecco did. Sales are an IP's lifeline. If Ecco had printed money like Sakura Taisen we would have had Ecco 3 back in the mid 90s. There only being a limited number of people on these forums does not invalidate my argument. Furthermore I'm sure more people would return to make subsequent posts if there was actually something to talk about.

    I do not know why you think the "three people" posting here are an accurate representation of this game's audience. The only people who know about this site are those who read Ed's final KS update, or those who have bothered to visit the Playchemy site in the last month or so when they posted a link to the boards here. That is why I have been citing outside sources, much more popular boards such as /v/, for a more accurate picture. If you want a more accurate picture of the desires of the fanbase, then this board itself needs promoting and people need materials related to the game to talk about. I do not want to see this turn into another Megaman Legends 3: "Oh nobody participated on our obscure internet forum so there must be no interest in the game, better cancel it!".

    Ed has said that LB is in early development, and even games in that state need marketing. Just look at Kindom Hearts 3, Square has said not to expect that game for another 3 years but they've put out trailers, teasers and other materials to market it and get the hype rolling. The alternative is to take the Capcom approach: if you do not want fan backlash then do not bother announcing anything at all. Just because LB will not print money like COD does not mean it does not need marketing. I have seen games with limited print runs (new Genesis, Atari 2600 and Dreamcast games), that get more marketing than this in their relevant communities where they have an audience. Even then they still have updates and other stuff to get people excited about it, even if they have a limited audience of 10,000 copies or less. LB is a game and games are made with the intent of making money at the end of the day. LB may be a free game, but Ed still needs to get the development money, and that is where the marketing comes in. Furthermore marketing is needed to create interest if Ed hopes to even get BB off the ground after LB.

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  • Where did I state that the few people posting here are an accurate representation of this game's audience? The opposite is true. And again: there's nothing to market. If there's one lesson to learn from the failure of the first Kickstarter, it's that they need to be prepared and they need to be able to show a real prototype. The Kickstarter left a really bad impression on the gaming community. The only way to repair that is to show a clear goal and to show people that they can deliver the product they're describing. And until they can do that it's better not to "hype" anything. How do they say it, "all hype, no substance"? It's not like there's a deadline here anyway.

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  • You and I simply have different approaches. In light of all the high profile video game scams on KS recently and the failure of many devs to deliver on their promises even with excessive funding reaching millions over their initial goal, LB is going to be under increased scrutiny, even more so because it will be a second attempt at a KS. KS itself has become a rather controversial subject in gaming communities lately because of all the drama it has caused. The silence and lack of promotion isn't doing much to help LB's image especially because lack of communication has been a consistent problem even with games that have been funded.

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    • Silversea (James)
    • Wildlife Photographer and part-time Game designer. Responsible for production of Songtide series of Ecco fangames.
    • Silversea_James
    • 8 yrs ago
    • Reported - view

    I am uncertain on whether it will become under increased scrutiny, though perhaps if the next kickstarter fails it almost certainly will. If the wrongs can be turned into rights this time around I feel that this threat of scrutiny will be nearly absent, but then again I know little of the topic.


    I agree with the audience being rather niche, and its a shame since its a niche that could be enjoyed by so many.

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  • LB will certainly come under increased scrutiny. The public image of KS among gamers has hit rock bottom. People are calling it Scamstarter for a reason. It doesn't help that KS will let anything fly so long as they get their 10% cut at the end of the day. Technically all transactions on KS are a donation, not a preorder, but unlike other kinds of donations, the project creator is not held to any legal consequences for misappropriating funds. I've read about the most ridiculous shenanigans coming out of that site.

    • A rich woman asking for money to send her 8 year old daughter to "RPG camp" to make a crappy "game" in a free software called RPG Maker. This got funded by angry feminists.
    • Double Fine getting millions over their initial goal to fund a game, somehow wasting all the money, and the game being nothing but delayed vapourware now.
    • A guy who got more than twice his initial funding goal to make a board game. He misappropriated the funds on personal frivolities including using it to move and buy a new house, and to form a new company. He then lied to the backers for close to a year and popped up at the end to say the money was gone and the game wasn't happening.
    • Spike Lee begging for money when he's certainly not hurting for it in real life with all those movies under his belt. (not gaming related but an example of what flies on KS)
    • A company licensed by Capcom to make a Megaman themed board game begging for money on KS. "Give us money now so we and Capcom, a megacorporation, can get money later!".
    • A law firm making a football game on shaky legal grounds to be developed and released in 6 weeks. They got $75,000 in pledges from a limited number of suspicious sources. This game was a candidate for some Ouya campaign.

    After all of this, the perception among gamers is that any game on KS is there either because it's not good enough to get a publisher, or as a blatant money grab. Inafune's game certainly doesn't need to be on KS. That man has released several decently budgeted games independently under his new company since leaving Capcom. Mighty No. 9 is on KS because it's a clever business move riding the Megaman fan hate train. People will have similar suspicions about LB. They will look at all the games Ed has made since leaving Sega and ask why LB, the game one would assume would be the most popular, would need public funding when all the other games didn't. Furthermore, Ed is a veteran, not an indie dev, people will be holding LB to a much higher standard, even if it is a budget game.

    All that aside, there are the struggles of actually getting people to pledge. With the internet hive mind people are going to assume that there will be enough people to replace them if they do not pledge money towards a game, and that the game will eventually get funded. Then there's the problem of incentives for getting people to pledge, since exclusive content will naturally alienate those who did not pledge. I have seen Inafnue's KS getting a lot of flak for exclusive content and locking everything behind a paywall, including feedback: "Give us X amount of money for us to even consider your feedback on topic X!". KS replaces the publisher with the backers, but the backers have none of the powers of the publisher and are putting 100% blind faith in the dev to deliver with no promises or legal consequences. Greater risk, greater payoff, I suppose, but people have legitimate reasons for not wanting to back a project with no guarantees or concrete plans.

    Then there's the issue of LB's niche audience. Ed has said he wants as many people as possible to enjoy LB. I'm not putting words in his mouth, but the "we want an expanded audience" mentality is one of the biggest sources of the casualization of games today: the more people you try to cater to, the less focused it becomes, and the more alienated your core fans become. No matter which way you look at it, LB is in a rough position and tough decisions will have to be made.

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  • With what you told me, KS seems like a really bad idea that will only harm the name of an already diminished franchise. Sega is to blame denying new Ecco games and holding on to the license to release more crappy emulated and cellphone ports.

    DOTF showed that the concept survives a transition to 3D. I really enjoyed the game and got my hopes up for some time to see more. I don't know what Ed wants to do or has to do but in this world it always comes down to money. Making games costs money and time. I guess Ed has to decide for himself if it is only about the money or for the love of his franchise too. If it is the latter then he should never give up. I hope he won't.

    It seems the real issue is the funding and Ed seems stuck between a rock and a hard place. Will he risk getting his Ecco franchise 'stained' by another KS -which has a questionable reputation these days like Ice mentioned- or will he try to find a publisher -which imo is a much harder exercise, because you have to show them something tangible and convince them that your product will sell and make money for them- to blow new life into his concept and restore it to the glory of old. The first Ecco Megadrive game was a huge success so Ed and his core fans want to get it there again.

    We should look at why the first game was a huge success (gameplay, gfx, hype, marketing etc) and the second (Tides of Time) didn't do as well. Since the second game plays very similar to the first we are overlooking something here. Why do people play the same sports games again and again but can't they stick with something like Ecco that offers a further storyline and new environments in a sequel while (american) football or soccer just have another grass stadium filled with the same damn game again? Yes we will see a FIFA or NHL 2075 game (if we live that long hehe). Also looking at DOTF sales, game and marketing strategies might teach us something. Learning from past mistakes will avoid making them again.


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  • You raise a lot of good points, Sith. Of course the big problem here is Sega.

    Evidently DOTF can't have done that well because Ecco has been getting the shaft from Sega for quite some time. DOTF came out in 2000. Up until it was announced that the Dreamcast was cancelled in January 2001, a sequel was in development called Sentinels of the Universe. However it was quietly cancelled internally sometime after the DC was cancelled.

    Now let's look at the Japanese market. Unbeknownst to many in the West, Sega's major IP in the region was not Sonic or Panzer Dragoon or Nights, but was in fact Sakura Taisen. It had been their major money maker in the country since the first game came out for the Saturn in 1996. In March 2001, two months after support for the DC was ended, Sakura Taisen 3 was released in Japan as a DC exclusive. The game was obviously in development and nearly finished before Sega cancelled the console, so it makes sense that they ended up releasing it. Now what's surprising is that the year after, in March 2002, they released Sakura Taisen 4, also as a DC exclusive (and with a limited edition, I might add). I've completed that game and not only is it excellent it's also a game with high production values and clearly wasn't done on the cheap. The game was intended to conclude the story that had been building up from the previous three games and give closure to the fans, which is a lot more than they did for Ecco. So while Sega felt obligated to give the ST fans what they wanted, Ecco got the collective shaft and was relegated to the sad state it's in now.

    Even back in 2002 Sega felt it wasn't worth their time and money to continue pouring money into Ecco, even though they saw value in continuing with some of their other franchises and catering to those fans. Ecco was still a relatively popular and young IP at the time, but Sega still felt it wasn't worth it to keep it going. Something else to take into account is that when the DC was cancelled, Sega threw all their second and third party developers under the bus. Now that they were no longer a console manufacturer, Sega had no reason to hold on to the few developers who had not left the company or been alienated by their previous shenanigans. So naturally, why would Sega want to have anything to do with Ed anymore? Classic Ecco had been dead since the mid 90s and Ed had nothing to with the rebrand, DOTF, so it would not have made sense to bring back classic Ecco on the DC when Sega was just scraping by financially with their current active IPs.

    Now what you have to remember is that this was all from the old Sega before they were bought out by Sammy in 2004. Modern Sega has tried to reboot some of the old IPs, but for the most part they have continued the same business practices of neglecting their large library of IPs, and instead only rehashing the same few games that make money for them in addition to their publishing business on the side. And that's not even mentioning the abhorrent shovelware they put out on a regular basis like Shadow the Hedgehog. On rare occasions they've tried to reboot some IPs, like Sakura Taisen with a 5th game with a new cast in 2005, but it did less than stellar so they relegated it to the dead IP bin. Like the Sega of 2002, the Sega of today also doesn't think Ecco deserves another chance. No matter which way you look at it, ports and remakes of old games are not new content.

    Among all the other Sega IPs, Ecco fans are not the only ones who have been neglected and ignored by Sega. Sega has so many dead or ruined IPs it's pathetic. Now let's be realisitic here, while Sega disgusts me as a company, even if they went out of business tomorrow it wouldn't help Ecco at all. If Ed can't put together $665,000 for his own game, he wouldn't be able to purchase the Ecco IP. Even old Atari IPs, games that have not had new entires since the early 80s, are sold off for a lot more than $700K. The only thing that is going to change our situation is if Sega is suddenly in a benevolent mood and gives Ed another shot at the IP. Even if Sega went out of busines or sold the IP, they would simply be replaced by whoever bought the IP and we'd still be waiting for another game, and that's the unfortunate reality. The situation is further complicated by the fact that Japanese law forbids foreign companies from buying Japanese IPs and companies (I'm not familiar with Sega's current corporate structure but it's likely Sammy owns everything because they own Sega). So unless Ed is returned the rights to his IP by Sega themselves, we're never going to see another Ecco. No matter how badly we all want Ecco 3, The Little Blue is the closest thing we're ever going to get to it and we have to accept that, grudingly or not.

    As for Ecco's audience, a good point I read online recently is that while Megaman games at their core are mostly made for children, their audience are adults in the 20-30 age bracket who grew up with and have been supporting the franchise since the beginning. While Megaman has had a new series as recently as 2006 (Star Force), the kids of today have never known an Ecco in their time. All the people who are begging for a new Ecco are the old men like us who were kids when those games were new. Our demographic has not been supported by the industry for some time now (as depressing as it sounds, Xbox 360 is 8 year old hardware now), so not only fans of Sega IPs, but retro-oriented IPs in general will not see any new games in the shape the industry is in now.

    Our generation has been tossed aside in favour of new blood and the people who are easiest to please. Which brings me to your next point, Sith. You mentioned sports games. Sports games have always sold well because they appeal to the lowest common denominator of the video game market: casuals and jocks. I really don't understand it, if I want to play sports I'll go outside. However the "dudebros" will every year, without fail, go out in droves to buy their EA Sports/Fifa/NHL/NFL/Madden rehashes running on the exact same assets and engines with a bit of the roster swapped out and pay full price for it. For whatever reason, those games print money, while niche stuff like Ecco gets left behind. This is also why stuff like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty sell so well, they appeal to the lowest common denominator (teenagers who want to feel empowered playing a "mature" game), and those people greatly outnumber the people who would pay for Ecco. Perhaps a better example is the fim industry. No matter how important or well made a film like Schindler's List is, it will always be outsold by trash like the latest Adam Sandler comedy film because it appeals to far more people (please don't take this as me comparing Ecco to the subject of the Holocaust, because I'm not). At the end of the day, sales not quality are what dictate who survives and who goes under in the entertainment industry. It's not fair but it's unfortunately how it works.

    In conclusion, we may not be able to do anything about Sega's business decisions or the shape the video game industry is in now, but we can certainly fight for The Little Blue. Ed needs to bring back in his audience and fans from 20 years ago. Adults are going to be the ones funding LB on KS, not the kids who may be interested in the game but have no disposable income or credit cards.

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  • I wasn't able to fit this into my previous post so I will write this here. Kickstarter is certainly a double edged sword, and the vast majority of cases I've heard about have been negative. The most recent disaster I've read about is Takedown: Red Sabre.
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/355932838/crowdsourced-hardcore-tactical-shooter

    The game came out this week after spending around a year and a half in development. The game got $21,000 over its initial funding goal. By all accounts, the final product is garbage and broken promises. Like LB, it was a "retro revival" of sorts, intended as a spiritual successor to Rainbow Six and other games the team had worked on. This is another nail in the coffin for the public image of Kickstarter, especially when it comes to video games. They were using many of the same lines of BB's campaign "We're industry veterans! We know our field, we know our genre!" and then they made a crap game and ran off with the money. These people being high profile are certainly going to damage the public's perception and skepticism towards The Little Blue asking for money. Gamers are getting sick of the "retro revival" fad and "8-bit" indie games trying to be nostalgia cash-ins, so trends are certainly stacked against Little Blue. I'm not being accusatory, but like with these people, gamers have nothing more than the team's word to go with on LB, and after all these disasters people are going to be more reluctant than ever to pledge on KS than 5 months ago. I'm not trying to dampen the mood with these posts today, I'm trying to look at things realistically.

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